Giants notes: Pence misses a day; update on Bumgarner's injury

Giants notes: Pence misses a day; update on Bumgarner's injury

DENVER — Madison Bumgarner won’t address his situation until Monday at the earliest, but he did stop by Coors Field on Friday to see coaches and teammates and get treatment for his wounds. 

Bumgarner is in a sling but he isn’t having trouble moving around, manager Bruce Bochy said. He’ll fly back with the team Sunday and get checked by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki on Monday. After that visit, the team will have a better idea of a timetable for Bumgarner’s return. 

Bochy said that as far as he knows, surgery is not being discussed. While meeting with Bumgarner on Friday, the left-hander reiterated that this all could have been much worse than bruised ribs and a shoulder sprain. 

“He’s made reference to that, that he probably was a little lucky,” said Bochy, who crashed a motorcycle in 2001 and was on crutches for six weeks. 

The Giants were without another key player Saturday, but it won’t be a long-term thing. Right fielder Hunter Pence has a bruise behind his left knee after an awkward fall Friday night, but he felt like he could play Saturday. With a night game followed by a day game, Bochy elected to hold Pence out for left-hander Kyle Freeland on Sunday. He’s available off the bench Saturday. 

“It’s good, it’s fine,” Pence said of his knee. “They wanted to give it a day of rest.”

With Pence out, the Giants turn to one of their weakest outfield groups in years. There’s no way to sugarcoat this one: tonight’s starting outfielders have combined to hit .150 this season. 

--- Brandon Crawford will miss three days next week for the funeral of his sister-in-law. Crawford will go on the bereavement list so the Giants can call up a replacement. Given the look on Bochy’s face when a reporter mentioned Christian Arroyo, it won’t be Arroyo. Kelby Tomlinson would be the smart bet.

--- Hunter Strickland did his best to cheer up a group that has taken a few body blows lately. He walked in the clubhouse with a fresh mullet, complete with a couple of stripes on one side. It was actually a pretty solid look. “If it’s not working, change it up,” he said, smiling. 

The clubhouse certainly enjoyed the haircut. One player yelled “Joe Dirt!” when Strickland walked past. 

Giants notes: Bochy returns, 'ready to roll' after minor heart procedure

Giants notes: Bochy returns, 'ready to roll' after minor heart procedure

DENVER — Bruce Bochy returned Friday to the news that his ace had been involved in a dirt bike accident, but that didn’t put the manager in a bad mood. Bochy was all smiles on his first day back from a minor heart procedure, meeting individually with several players, joking with staff and reporters, and even challenging one to a basketball game. 

“I feel great. I’m ready to roll,” Bochy said. “I feel great. It’s good to be back with the club and get in the rhythm, I guess you could say. I’m glad to be back.”

Bochy said he had been feeling an atrial flutter after workouts and he got checked out Monday. His heart doctor took tests and said it was an easy fix. He had an ablation procedure Tuesday and was kept for observation overnight. 

“I felt I could have gone to Kansas City, but they wanted to wait,” Bochy said. “When this started happening more frequently it was time to get something done.”

Bochy said everything is back to normal. His doctor put him through a battery of tests, including an angiogram.

“He said you may have a bad knee, but you don’t have a bad heart,” Bochy said. 

--- The big news today was Madison Bumgarner, obviously. Here’s that story. It’s mentioned in there that Ty Blach will start Tuesday, and Dave Righetti also said Matt Cain will stay on turn. So it’s Cain, Blach, Johnny Cueto and Matt Moore against the Dodgers. 

Blach is available for an emergency tonight but otherwise he’ll throw a bullpen session Saturday to prepare for the Dodgers. He said it’ll be a bit longer than normal to get the pitch count back up, but he’s not worried about how deep he can go in his return to the rotation. 

“I think I’ll be pretty strong,” Blach said. “My arm feels good. I expect to be able to stretch it back out. I should be good to go.”

Blach will take over Bumgarner’s rotation spot for now and Chris Stratton is here to provide length for the bullpen. The Giants do believe that Tyler Beede is just about ready for his big league audition, but there’s no point in jamming him in as a long reliever right now. If something else happens in the rotation, Beede is the next man up.

--- Trevor Brown’s rehab assignment is officially over. He is staying with Triple-A Sacramento after being officially optioned there Friday. 

Michael Morse and Mac Williamson had a travel day Friday. They’ll start with the River Cats this weekend. 

--- If you missed it, FanGraphs’ Eno Sarris was the latest podcast guest. It’s an interesting one if you’re into metrics and pitch velocity and all that.  

Bumgarner on the DL is the biggest of gut punches for Giants

Bumgarner on the DL is the biggest of gut punches for Giants

Giants fans will never look at a Madison Bumgarner truck ad again without having a violent twitch. After all, now that he’s been beaten up by a dirt bike, who knows what nefarious danger he’s courting in an actual pickup?

Bumgarner, the heart, soul, spleen and pancreas of the San Francisco rotation, is going to miss the next six to eight weeks (the neighborhood of a third of the season) after a dirt bike accident that resulted in a sprained left shoulder and bruised ribs and got him shipped to the disabled list.

In other words, he screwed with the moneymaker, and now the company is locked in a duel with their own worst thoughts.

This should logically take most Giants aficionados, including supervisors and employees, back to that fun-filled evening in 2011 when Buster Posey got trucked by Scott Cousins in a home-plate collision. Or, more distantly, Jeff Kent’s famous O’Rielly Auto Parts loofa injury of 15 years ago.

In fact, if you toss in Posey getting beaned earlier this year, some fans – typically those who believed that even years are somehow magic for them simply by virtue of being divisible by two – will doubtless conclude that the Giants are beset with season-destroying juju that makes low run support seem like skin lotion on an ashy elbow.

Of course, what we’ve done here is taken an internal combustion-related injury, merged it with a heart-of-the-franchise injury and come up with Bumgarner zigging on a dirt bike when sagging was clearly indicated. In fact, the three are unrelated, as anyone with a working knowledge of time and causation/correlation would understand.

But the immediate effect is that the Giants now have a gaping hole in the starting rotation, the thing that was supposed to indemnify him from the roster’s other holes. The team’s working plan, to hold Ty Blach is reserve until it gets a better sense of Matt Cain’s value, is now in shreds, and general manager Bobby Evans now gets to know exactly what Brian Sabean felt in 2011, and what he came close to feeling in 2002.

In other words, now Evans gets to know why general managers drink.

Now there may be more story here, as there was with the Kent cover tale in ’02. Or it may be as simple as Posey’s story in ’11, which couldn’t really be embellished much since it happened under high-visibility lighting.

Either way, the good news here is that if Bumgarner was going to hurt himself, 16 games into the season beats 106 games into the season. Unless the shoulder is damaged significantly (and there’s no need to get out over your medical skis until you need to, kids), the Giants will have time to minimize whatever damage there is to their year. In other words, if eight weeks turns to 12, this is a body blow to a team withgout a lot of margin for body blows.

And maybe Bumgarner, chastened by this incident, will give up any future plans for punching out a cow, wrestling a bear or juggling tractor motors to a medley of Blake Shelton songs.

That’s the good news, as we say. The bad news . . . well, you know that one. So does Buster Posey. We need not get into greater detail.

Yet.